Sometimes while scrolling on social media, we can’t help but talk to new people that might have followed us or added us as a friend. There are also times where we go out of our way to meet new people online on dating apps and other platforms so that way we can develop new relationships. While meeting new friends online might be fun, there are dangers that are associated with meeting new people online. Scammers and catfish lurk the social media scene with fake profiles, waiting to pounce on their next victim. There are people who also do not have the best intentions in mind and will lurk for people to meet online and take advantage of them. This is why it is important to know the dangers of making new friends online on National New Friends Day and how to make new friends online safely.
National New Friends Day: The Dangers of Making New Friends Online
You Might Fall in Love with a Romance Scammer
Romance scammers are all over social media platforms and dating sites, looking to steal their victims’ hard-earned cash. They create fake profiles using stolen images and personalities from other people to make themselves seem irresistible then go after their victims. They copy their victims’ interests and claim that they are falling fast for their victims after only knowing them for a short amount of time. This amount of flattery makes victims fall for their scammers at a faster rate which makes them trust them too quickly.
Once victims begin to trust them, scammers start coming up with emergency excuses as to why they need their victim’s money. Victims feel sorry for what their scammers are going through so they give their money to them immediately in order to relieve them of the bad situations they are going through. However, the amount of money sent to them will never be enough for the scammer and they will keep asking for more and more money.
How to Avoid: The number one rule that everyone should follow when online dating is to video chat or meet them in person before getting serious with that person. This will allow you to confirm that this person is who they say they are before you pursue an online relationship. If they can’t do either of these things and come up with excuses as to why they can’t video chat with you, then this means they are lying about their identity. Also, don’t send anyone any money online for any reason! The only time someone will ask for money on the Internet is to scam you out of your hard-earned cash. Scammers will lie and say anything they can to steal your funds.
You Might Become Friends With a Scammer
Scammers might trick you to be their friend if they can’t get you to fall in love with them. Then, once the scammer gains your trust, they will start asking you for money for emergency reasons or claim that they have an investment opportunity for you to gain more money. They claim that they need your money for one of these reasons and beg until you give them money. Once you give them money, they continue coming up with excuses as to why they even more money for you. They won’t stop coming up with excuses unless you block them off of all platforms.
How to Avoid: Don’t become friends with anyone that you met online if they can’t video chat with you or meet you in person. Otherwise, you don’t know exactly who you are talking to and could risk talking to someone who is only talking to you for your money. Also, don’t send anyone that you met online any money for any reason.
You Might Become Friends with a Catfish
While scammers and catfish are similar, there are differences between the two. A scammer is a catfish that is pretending to be someone else in order to steal your money. A catfish pretends to be someone else but could have many motives to catfish someone. For example, maybe they are just insecure about who they are and don’t want to make online friends with their photos. Maybe they are experimenting with their sexuality or gender and are catfishing as someone they want to be.
How to Avoid: Regardless of the reasons why someone might be catfishing you, it’s always a good idea to verify who they really are before starting a friendship or relationship with you. Make sure to video chat with them or meet them in person before getting into a serious friendship or relationship with them.
You Might Meet Someone With Bad Intentions
While people can tell the truth about who they are, they might not be telling the truth about their intentions with you. There are people out there who are sexual predators and meet up with their victims to try and force themselves on their victims. There are also some people who could be thieves, stalkers, or murderers who will meet up with people to steal, kill, or stalk them. There are plenty of dating app horror stories that will explain some of the hardships people have had to go through with meeting random people on the Internet.
How to Avoid: Always make sure to get your own method of transportation to wherever you are meeting someone from the Internet. Also, make sure to always meet them in a very public place so that way they can’t hurt you or do anything to you without drawing attention from a public crowd. For even more protection, you could also opt into going on a double date with your friends and the person from the Internet so that way you aren’t alone when meeting them. Don’t go to a private place with them, such as a house or apartment, until meeting with them at least a few times so you can figure out their intentions.
How to Make Friends Online Safely on National New Friends Day!
- Video chat with them or meet them in person before getting into a serious relationship or friendship with them.
- Don’t send money to anyone online for any reason. This also means don’t send them gift cards, Bitcoin, or wire transfers.
- When meeting someone for the first time, make sure to meet in a very public place.
- Always take your car or your own transportation to meet someone from the Internet. Don’t let them drive you anywhere.
- If you can, meet with someone from the Internet with one of your friends (or another couple) to ensure your safety.
- Always let your loved ones know where you are going and when if you are meeting with someone for the first time.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You on National New Friends Day!
If you want to verify the identity of someone you just met online, Social Catfish is here to help you! At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after learning about how to make online friends safely on National New Friends Day. Also, make sure to report any scam that you have been a victim of to the FTC. They will provide you with excellent resources that will help you recover financially and emotionally.